In the Northland region, a production of ancient health and fitness apparatus is said to be a first since colonisation. It's the concept of a new garden known a Te Mara Hupara o Kaeo that was officially opened today. It's believed these apparatus were used by local ancestors to help improve the health and well-being of the community.
These apparatus from ancient times have been reproduced in the one place for the use of little children.
Owner Harko Brown says, ‘It’s a Māori gym CrossFit but it's the eco-style, no steel no rubber no plastic. So the idea is that our tupuna had it here. They had our health our hauora, it’s all wrapped up in the mara hupara.”
Te Mara Hupara o Kaeo boasts 10 of 30 known hupara used by Māori ancestors.
“This is the right stuff for our children to play a variety of activities that will strengthen this generation,” says Te Kura o Hato Hohepa principal, Helen West.
“The idea was to group alot of playing equipment and exercise equipment that our tupuna had like kokiri, moari, hikeikei, tupekepeke,” says Brown.
The hikeikeinui is one of the apparatus here at Te Mara Hupara o Kaeo, and there is already interest from Kerikeri and Auckland for gardens with this concept in their districts.
Part 2 of the book series Ngā Taonga Tākaro is due for release in June with the histories and information on hupara.
Brown says they are looking to expand this idea out into the community.
“It’s creating that the environment so that these games can be things they take on easily and sustainably, not just for a lesson but for a lifetime.”